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Blondie Biography: 7 Life Stages of the Legendary Singer - Debbie Harry

“I believe that I lived my life with dignity, since I achieved my cherished goal - I became an artist with a capital letter ...”

The Story of the Legendary Blondie: A Biography of Debbie Harry

Deborah Ann Harry is the leader of the famous band "Blondie" and the brightest representative of the American new wave, whose songs have become the soundtrack of more than three hundred films and TV shows.

girl from the outback

Deborah Ann Harry was born on July 1st, 1945 in Miami. From birth, the girl's name was Angela Trimble, but a few months after birth, her biological parents abandoned her. The couple from New Jersey, who adopted the girl, gave her a new name, with which she gained fame.

Already in childhood, Deborah showed interest in music and surprised adults with her abilities. She constantly performed on stage: she participated in children's productions, sang in the church choir. In the sixth grade, her first solo performance took place - on the stage of the school stage, she performed the part in "The Boy with a Finger". The girl's talent attracted attention - she had an impeccable ear and emotional, expressive vocals. She was prophesied a career as a singer, and Deborah herself also dreamed of the life of a musician.

Debbie Harry as a teenager
Debbie Harry as a teenager

“I think I learned a lot of forbidden and unnecessary things, while my parents wanted to instill in me the interests of a “normal” person. But I did not need a measured life. I wanted to feel the taste of freedom. I have always been an artist. I was drawn to acting, music, the stage ... I literally swallowed everything that came across to me in order to subsequently apply it on personal experience. I believe that I lived my life with dignity, since I achieved my cherished goal - I became an artist with a capital letter, ”said the singer, recalling her childhood.

Despite the protests of her parents, immediately after graduating from college, Deborah Harry went to New York to start her musical career.

Journalist and Playboy Model

New York coolly received Deborah Harry. She worked as a waitress, dancer and even starred for Playboy magazine - all this time she was looking for her creative path. The girl tried herself in journalism and photography, she sang in the folk group Wind in the Willows.

Debbie Harry as Playboy Bunny
Debbie Harry as Playboy Bunny

He never gained much fame, but gave Harry the opportunity to make acquaintances in the field of musicians, and became the starting point for a career as a singer. After Wind in the Willows broke up, she took a seat in The Stilettos, where she met Chris Stein. For many years they had a romantic and professional relationship, together they created the legendary band "Blondie".

Birth of a cult band

The world learned about "Blondie" in 1974. Initially, the group was supposed to be called "Angel and the Snake", but after several concerts, the group changed its name to the bright nickname of its soloist. In the future, it will be so strongly associated with the singer herself that the band members will even hold a PR campaign called “Blondie is a group!”.

Photographer Chris Stein reflected in Debbie Harry's sunglasses
Photographer Chris Stein reflected in Debbie Harry's sunglasses

For several years the group was in the underground, playing in small clubs. By 1976, they began to be recognized, in 1977 their single "In the Flesh" reached number two on the charts. The next album - "Parallel Lines", released a year later - brought the group even more fame, and Harry herself - the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal.

Cover of the album "Blondie" "Parallel Lines" (1978)
Cover of the album "Blondie" "Parallel Lines" (1978)

"Heart of Glass" quickly captured the first lines of the charts around the world.

Punk icon

Harry has changed the idea of blondes on stage. In the 70s, this image was strongly associated with emphasized femininity and flirtatiousness, but the singer clearly did not fit into it. She captivated the audience with powerful vocals, a vivid image and originality of creativity. Despite the fact that Mattel released a portrait Barbie doll as a sign of respect for the singer, she has always been far from the stereotypical image attributed to these dolls.

Debbie Harry, Blondie, 1980. Photo: Lynn Goldsmith
Debbie Harry, Blondie, 1980. Photo: Lynn Goldsmith

“Unfortunately, many people are biased towards blondes, especially dyed ones - they say that we look “cheap” and defiant in the worst sense of the word ... This color, on the contrary, helped me to carry out a real inner transformation! I’m just fascinated by the very idea of dangerous innocence ... ”, Debbie once admitted.

Andy Warhol filming Debbie Harry at a factory in New York. Photo: Chris Stein
Andy Warhol filming Debbie Harry at a factory in New York. Photo: Chris Stein

Harry became a real punk icon, one of the most popular women in the history of rock music. In 1999, Debbie was ranked 12th on VH1's "100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll History" list.

Solo career

In 1981, the singer's first solo album, KooKoo, was released, which went gold in the US and silver in the UK. In 1982, the group released the commercially failed album The Hunter, after which the group broke up. Nevertheless, the singer continues her solo work, and achieves success in it, albeit not as bright as the success of the group in the first years of her work. The single "French Kissin' in the USA" became a UK Top 10 hit.

Despite the reunion of the musical group in 1997, the singer continued to work outside the group, recording several more solo albums. She did not forget about the work of the group: in 1997, the Blondie band released the hit “Maria”, which showed that its members are still capable of creating music of the highest level.

Debbie Harry in movies

For the first time, Debbie Harry played in the film "The Foreigner". It happened in 1978, when the group began to gain popularity. Despite the fact that Harry did not position herself as an actress, she still played in a large number of films - there were more than fifty in all. Nevertheless, the performer earned the prestigious Golden Globe Award for the song "Call Me", which sounded in the movie "American Gigolo".

According to one of the interviews, Blondie was supposed to play one of the main roles in the film Blade Runner, but the studio with which she had previously signed a contract banned Harry from filming.

Debbie Harry, vocalist
Debbie Harry, 1978

Charity

Taking advantage of the status of a rock legend, Debbie Harry pays great attention to charity, and tries to draw attention to social problems. She regularly transfers funds to medical organizations and participates in performances related to acute social issues. In 2011, the singer spoke out against the hushing up of the problem of domestic violence, portraying the dead and performing the famous "Heart Of Glass" in this way.

Debbie Harry today...
Debbie Harry Today

Debbie Harry stood at the origins of the emerging new wave. Her work opened up new musical horizons and clearly showed how successful a woman can become in rock music.

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